Yesterday Hockey Canada announced the 25 man roster for the upcoming Winter Olympics. Canada is in the enviable position that it could probably name two (maybe three) rosters that could compete for Gold. So naming a single 25 man team is going to come with a certain level scrutiny of the selections.
Canada’s 25 Man Roster
Goaltenders: Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Mike Smith
Defence: Jay Bouwmeester, Drew Doughty, Dan Hamhuis, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Shea Weber
Forwards: Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Jonathan Toews
I can’t really disagree with any of the players that Steve Yzerman and his assembled uber-staff chose to name to the team, as they are all certainly deserving. I would however have made some different choices. There are just a couple players that I would have not wanted to leave off my team. Read more…
While there’s isn’t any high profile game actually in the Nova Scotia community Monday night, two of it’s native sons and most prominent residents will face off against one another for the first time when Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche visit Sidney Crosby and his Pittsburgh Penguins. The game can be see live on TSN2 at 8:30 AT. Have your say below on who you’ll be cheering for. Read more…
One of the benefits of sports blogging is that on occasion I get invited to events relating to sports in the area. This week was the first time it got me a night out at the theatre for Neptune Theatre’s production of Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad.
The play, written by Michael Melski and starring Heather Rankin and Kevin Kincaid, puts a nuanced twist on the very Canadian theme of hockey parenting. Rather than being a play about hockey, it is a tale of relationships and the need for companionship balanced by the difficulty in placing your total trust in others. Read more…
Yet another year and I am lucky enough to be a part of the Big Day Downtown again. I have gotten to experience to experience some great businesses and this year was no different. What was different was the twist that throw at us this year. But it turns out to be a fun little twist.
I was unforuntately unable to attend the kick-off event, so I had to learn of the twist a little later than others. I took a little trip down to the Downtown Business Comission’s offices and found out that I had to select three cards upon which would be listed the themes I would have to incorporate into my Big Day. Despite numerous reassuance that all the cards were positvely toned, I was figuring I would the one joke whammy card. Fortunately enough the folks at the Downtown Business Commission are that cruel. I selected my three cards and got: Happy, Relaxing, and Playful. Read more…
Just days after the team announced Chris Terrell as the teams new coach, the Rainmen also added former USC Trojan James Blasczyk.
Coach Terrell has had many stops around the world coaching at the highest levels, most recently with Romania, China and Mexico. He also served as a head assistant player development coach in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks.
“It is a great honor to be selected as the new head coach of the Halifax Rainmen” Said coach Terrrell. “I want to thank Mr Levingston and everyone in the organization. I am looking forward to living and working in Halifax this season as we diligently work together to give the great fans a team they can be very proud of”.
The roster is still far from set, but with the league draft upcoming on Aug. 17-19 a few more items may be set in place. Coach Terrell is expected to be onhand for the draft.
Not one to wait around though, Andre Levingston has already begun adding to the squad. The 7-foot-1 Blasczyk caught the eye of Levinston during summer tournament play. He’s coming off 2 years with USC in the NCAA and shold be a physical presence down low.
Officially signed my first professional basketball contract. Going to spend the next 7 months in Halifax Canada .. Couldn't be more excited.
— James Blasczyk (@AgentRed31) August 8, 2013
“One thing led to another,” Blasczyk said. “[Levingston] is in my corner, and I decided that would be the best route to go.”
Full details on Blasczyk and his signing can be found at Galen Central.
So the Halifax Moosheheads selected to highly touted forward prospect in the CHL Import Draft Wednesday. The Import Draft is often filled with mystery as few people this side of the Atlantic know the players well and there are often questions whether the players are interested in coming over. Prior to the draft, many people had those questions of Halifax’s first pick Nikolaj Ehlers. Considered as possibly the top prospect to ever come out of Denmark, Ehlers had made the jump to the Swiss pro ranks as a 16 year old and signed a contract with HC Biel for the upcoming year. Some thought this indicated a preference to stay.
But Mooseheads GM, Cam Russell, did his due diligence as he was confident both we would be here for training camp. That confidence has been shown to be well founded according to his comments on a Danish Sports website and using the Google Translate tool:
It increases my chances in the NHL draft choice next year. Now I get the chance to show that I can handle a long hard season. Moosehead has a strong team and a good organization, and I could not get to a better club.
Nikolaj Ehlers is joined to Halifax by a good friend from Switzerland, Timo Meier, who was draftet as No. 12
Another French publication had comments from Ehlers Swiss club that they would not obstruct Ehlers should he choose to play in North America:
“We knew Nikolaj would be drafted by a junior team in Canada, says sporting director Martin Steinegger HC Bienne. I do not know yet that he wants to give direction to his career, but if he decides to try his luck in North America, we can not even hold his contract.”
So unlike when the team drafted Martin Frk and had some difficult securing his release from his club team. it looks like there will be no such headaches with Ehlers or Meier. Welcome to Moose Country boys.
As for the Screaming Eagles and the Charlottetown Islanders, they added some talent as well. Read more…
Coming off the Memorial Cup Championship, the team could have a dramatic face lift next year. There’s a good chance they will have lost the entire first line. Gone for sure are imports Marty Frk and Konrad Albeltshauser, as they graduate to the pro ranks. A victim of their own talent, #1 overall pick in the NHL draft Nathan MacKinnon and #3 overall Jonathan Drouin could be playing in the NHL next season as well. That leaves big hole in the offence.
To fill the two vacant import slot and try to add some more offecne at the same time, GM Cam Russell selected Nikolaj Ehlers and Timo Meier with the #6 and #12 overall picks in the CHL Import Draft respectively.
So who are these guys? Read more…
Today will be day for some of the Halifax Mooseheads. Hockey Canada will announce the roster for its World Junior selection camp. Unfortunately, the NHL lockout will undoubtedly squeeze out some great junior talent.
Nathan MacKinnon was a fairly safe bet to make the team this year after he generated consideration last year, despite not being invited. MacKinnon is still pretty certain to be invited to the selection camp, but with potential NHL-ready talent like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM), Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA), Ryan Strome (NYI), Mark Scheifele (WIN), and more available, the forward corps is getting pretty filled already.
TSN had preliminary roster speculation that featured MacKinnon as the 13th forward, while TSN Insider Bob McKenzie says he could challenge for a top six spot by shifting to RW. However unlikely, with stiff competition there is the slight possibility that if there is no scoring line spot available, MacKinnon gets left out in place of more experienced role players for the third and fourth line.
This is more of reality for his Moosehead teammate Jonathan Drouin, who has been climbing up the draft rankings all season and with his stellar first half has made some start wondering how close he is to MacKinnon. Hockey Canada always gives the advantage to older players that have typically been drafted, but in any normal year Drouin would have at least have been in consideration for a spot. But sadly, it is unlikely he even gets a sniff this year. Maybe he’ll get an invite to camp, but even that might be a long shot as the team brass will only have limited time to assess what they have and will focus on more known commodities.
While it even rarer for underage goaltenders to get into the conversation for the annual Christmas tournament Zachary Fucale has also impressed enough that in a normal year he could have garnered some interest. That’s all it would ever be, is interest but still worth noting.
Good luck to Nate, and would certainly be great to see Drouin get a chance to showcase his skill at least. If by chance both are snubbed, I’d feel bad for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Last year, after not getting invited to the selection camp, Mathan MacKinnon posted 5 goals on the Quebec Rempart. Just sayin’!
I was tempted to keep the couple days growth I already had and give myself a bit of a headstart. But that just wouldn’t be in keeping with the spirit of the campaign. I didn’t want to incur any bad karmo.
For those that may not know, Movember is a charitable campaign that encourages men to grow moustaches for the month of November to raise money for prostate cancer. Think of it as the Run for the Cure is to breast cancer as Movember is to prostate cancer. Mo for the Cure.
If you would like to donate to Movember or participate go to the Highly Touted Mo-Page.